Killer Frost

Killer Frost

Louise Lincoln as Killer Frost preparing to attack Firestorm and Lorraine Reilly. Art by Jamal Igle.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Crystal Frost) Firestorm #3 (June 1978)
(Louise Lincoln) Firestorm (vol. 2) # 21 (March 1984)
(Caitlin Snow) Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #19 (June 2013)
Created by Gerry Conway
Al Milgrom
In-story information
Alter ego Crystal Frost
Louise Lincoln
Caitlin Snow
Team affiliations (Crystal Frost)
Secret Society of Super Villains
Hudson University
Black Lantern Corps
(Louise Lincoln)
Suicide Squad
Injustice League
Secret Society of Super Villains
(Caitlin Snow)
S.T.A.R. Labs
Secret Society of Super Villains
Abilities (All) Cold and ice manipulation

Killer Frost is a name used by several fictional supervillainesses appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character has appeared in various incarnations, with several different individuals in the DC Universe assuming the Killer Frost persona. Killer Frost appears mainly as an adversary of the superhero Firestorm.

Fictional character biographies

Crystal Frost

Crystal Frost was the first incarnation, appearing in Firestorm #3 (June 1978). While Frost was studying to be a scientist in Hudson University, she fell in love with her teacher, Martin Stein. While working on a project in the Arctic, Frost was upset to learn that Stein did not reciprocate her feelings (for his part, Stein told a fellow researcher that he had noticed that Crystal was a withdrawn student of his and he merely tried to draw her out of her shell, which Crystal completely misinterpreted). Frost accidentally locked herself in a thermafrost chamber but survived, being transformed in a way in which she was able to absorb heat from a living being and project cold and ice. Calling herself "Killer Frost", she began her murderous crusade against men and clashed with Firestorm on many occasions.[1] Killer Frost eventually died after she absorbed too much energy from Firestorm.[2] Crystal has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice.[3] Her body was reanimated as a Black Lantern.[4]

Louise Lincoln

Dr. Louise Lincoln is the second incarnation; she first appeared in Firestorm (vol. 2) #21 (March 1984) and used the "Killer Frost" name in Firestorm (vol. 2) #34 (April 1985). Lincoln was a colleague and friend to Crystal Frost. After her friend's death, she decided to repeat the experiment as a last respect to her former mentor, and became the new Killer Frost. She became just as ruthless as her predecessor and began her own personal vendetta against Firestorm, whom she blamed for Frost's death. She briefly served as a member of the Suicide Squad and sold her soul to Neron for more power.

During the Underworld Unleashed event, Killer Frost attacked Hawaii, freezing part of the islands before being stopped by Superboy and Knockout.

After a group of mobsters put out a hit on Lois Lane, Killer Frost rescued her from Solomon Grundy, only to then leave the reporter bound and gagged on a set of train tracks, hoping to take the credit and reward for Lane's death. Her plan was foiled by Superman who rescued Lois before the train could hit her.[5]

Killer Frost was later freed when the DEO refrigeration truck transporting her crashed. Effigy happened upon the crash and she discovered the heat from his pyrokinetic abilities enabled her to kiss him without freezing him over. The two had a brief flirtatious partnership that dissolved when Effigy lost patience with her lecturing him on how to defeat Green Lantern. After Green Lantern buried them both under a mountain of snow, Effigy escaped and abandoned her to be apprehended again.[6]

In the Superman/Batman "Public Enemies" arc, Killer Frost was one of many supervillains seeking to earn a $1 billion reward offered by President Lex Luthor to sanction Superman and Batman, whom he considered treasonous. She teamed with Mister Freeze, Icicle (Cameron Mahkent) and Captain Cold in an attempt to ambush the two heroes in Washington D.C., but all four were defeated. They attacked in a second wave, along with more villains such as Giganta and Gorilla Grodd, but a similar backup of superheroes battered them all into submission. It was later discovered in Superman/Batman #3 that this ice-themed team of villains was being mind controlled by Grodd.

Dr. Light hired Killer Frost and Mirror Master to attack Green Arrow and Black Lightning at a hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where Kimiyo Hoshi was being held. Green Arrow stopped Killer Frost by firing an arrow filled with Greek fire into her thigh. Unable to absorb the heat from the arrow, she was defeated in Green Arrow (Volume 3) #54-55.

Around this time, Lincoln discovered that she had contracted cancer, and tricked Jason Rusch, the new Firestorm, into curing her. With her health and powers restored Killer Frost went on a rampage, only to be defeated when Jason used his abilities to reverse his alterations to Lincoln's body, returning her cancer.[7]

Killer Frost returned during the events of One Year Later, where she had apparently entered into a relationship with Mr. Freeze. Together, the two villains went on a killing spree in Manhattan, hoping to draw Firestorm into an elaborate trap. Once the hero arrived, Killer Frost used a device to send both of them into space, where she sought to absorb the heat energy of the sun. Firestorm narrowly managed to stop her plan, and both Killer Frost and Mister Freeze were taken into custody by Batman. As they were being sent away, Killer Frost angrily revealed to Mister Freeze that she had only been using him as a pawn, and had no romantic interest in him.[8]

Killer Frost was later seen battling Firestorm in the Justice League of America Wedding Special until Lex Luthor, Joker and Cheetah arrived, subdued Firestorm, and invited Killer Frost to join the new Injustice League. She then appeared in Salvation Run, where she was sent to the Prison Planet after having been defeated and captured by the Suicide Squad.

In DC Universe #0, she was seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. She is later seen as one of the villains sent to retrieve the Get Out of Hell Free card from the Secret Six, and ultimately helped deal the killing blow to the crazed supervillain Junior and the troubled vigilante known as the Tarantula.[9] A short time after this encounter with the Secret Six, Killer Frost appeared as one of the participants in a metahuman fighting tournament in Tokyo. She was defeated by Wonder Woman and Black Canary, who had disguised themselves as villains in order to take down the tournament from the inside.[10]

Caitlin Snow

In September 2013, as the "Villains Month" part of the Forever Evil storyline during The New 52, Killer Frost was featured in the one-shot Justice League of America #7.2, also titled Killer Frost #1.[11] She can also be seen on the cover of Forever Evil #1, which hints at her involvement in that series. The issue revealed this is yet another version of Killer Frost, Dr. Caitlin Snow, a scientist sent to S.T.A.R. Labs Outpost #72 in the Arctic to work on a thermodynamic engine whose creator had committed suicide. Snow soon discovered the place had been infiltrated by H.I.V.E. agents. When they tried to kill her inside the engine, Snow frantically ripped off the coolant system, merging her body with ice. Transformed into a heat vampire, she killed the H.I.V.E. agents and continued to search for other sources of heat, eventually discovering that Firestorm's blasts can temporarily heal her condition. When he was declared dead by the Crime Syndicate, she lost hope for a cure.[12]

Powers and abilities

All versions have shown the ability to absorb heat from external sources and transmute it into waves of cold. Using these powers, Killer Frost can create an ice-sheen across her entire body and generate objects composed completely of ice, such as projectiles and defensive walls. She can also instantly freeze animate matter through physical contact, and is unable to touch a normal person without freezing them. Her weakness is the need to absorb external heat sources to generate ice: she can be imprisoned in cold surroundings such as being locked in a refrigeration truck or buried under a mountain of snow.

Other versions

DC Super Friends

Killer Frost appeared in the DC Super Friends comic as part of a group of ice-themed villains called the "Ice Pack" that encased a city in ice and snow.[13]

Justice League Adventures

The Crystal Frost version of Killer Frost appeared along with Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, Minister Blizzard, Cryonic Man, Icicle, Polar Lord and Snowman in the Justice League Adventures comic.[14]

Justice League Unlimited

Killer Frost appeared in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book along with her Secret Society teammate (and current romantic interest) Heat Wave.[15]

DC Bombshells

Killer Frost appears in the DC Bombshells continuity, which takes place during World War II. Though she's never explicitly named, her outfit is similar to Caitlin Snow's. She is German and serves Hugo Strange of the Nazi Regime alongside Penguin and a brainwashed Harvey Dent (who is eventually rescued by the Batgirls). While Penguin is in love with her, it's unknown if she truly reciprocates the same feeling.[16]

In other media


Crystal Frost as Killer Frost in Young Justice.
Killer Frost, portrayed by Danielle Panabaker in The Flash.
During season two, Caitlin grieves for Ronnie a second time and grows closer to the Flash of Earth-Two, Jay Garrick, before the later revelation that he is in fact the evil Earth-2 speedster Zoom posing as the real Jay Garrick. She also meets her Earth-Two doppelganger, an ice-based supervillain named Killer Frost who is later killed by Zoom, and wonders at what this means for her own capacity to do evil.
In the "Flashpoint" timeline of the Season 3 opening episode, Caitlin is a children's eye doctor with no connections to Team Flash. Barry restores the original timeline but with subtle variations and Caitlin appears to be the least affected. However, she is revealed to be developing cryokinetic abilities that she is keeping secret from the team, and subsequent episodes reveal that she also is developing a dissociative identity. In the episode The New Rogues, she uses her powers for the first time to get Barry out of being trapped in a mirror by Mirror Master. By the end of the episode, Caitlin is beginning to physically transform into Killer Frost by her hair turning white and her lips turning blue like her doppelganger in Earth 2. [17] She goes to see her mother, Dr. Carla Tannhauser, who studies her powers, but is attacked by a crazed scientist and briefly assumes her Killer Frost persona while defending herself. Later, her mother advises her not to use her powers or her transformation will become irreversible.[18] She eventually reveals her powers to Cisco, who uses his powers and sees the two of them fighting each other in the future as Vibe and Killer Frost. Cisco forces her to reveal her powers to the rest of Team Flash to avoid hiding it until the time comes. Barry tells Caitlin that her powers are a result of the changed timeline, which angers her.[19] In "Killer Frost," Caitlin nearly gives into her Killer Frost persona and threatens the lives of Barry, Cisco, and multiple others in order to find Doctor Alchemy, hoping he can take away her powers. After imprisoning her, Barry tells Caitlin she can leave only if she kills him, knowing that the real Caitlin is underneath the cold exterior. Caitlin returns to normal self and puts herself in the metahuman cuffs to restrain her evil side from coming out. Barry sacrifices his job as a forensic scientist in order to keep her secret from the police.


Video games


  1. Wallace, Dan (2008), "Firestorm", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 123, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
  2. Firestorm (vol. 2) # 21
  3. Blackest Night #1
  4. Blackest Night #3
  5. Superman (vol. 2) #182
  6. Green Lantern (vol. 3) #127
  7. Firestorm (vol. 2) #9–10
  8. Firestorm (vol. 2) #24–25
  9. Secret Six (vol. 3) #6–7
  10. Wonder Woman (vol. 3) #35
  11. Young, Bryan (June 5, 2013). "Exclusive: Which Villains Are Taking Over the Justice League?". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  12. Justice League of America: Killer Frost Vol. 3 #7.2 (November 2013)
  13. DC Super Friends #16 (August 2009)
  14. Justice League Adventures #12 (Dec. 2002)
  15. Justice League Unlimited 21 (May 2006)
  16. DC Comics Bombshells #15
  17. The Flash Episode The New Rouges
  18. The Flash Season 3 episode 5
  19. The Flash Season 3 episode 6
  20. Gary Collinson. "First trailer for Batman: Assault on Arkham animated movie". Flickering Myth.
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